Sharemilking has long been considered a cornerstone of the New Zealand dairy industry, providing a viable progression pathway for young dairy farmers to build experience and wealth, and traditionally aiming to achieve their ultimate goal of farm ownership. This pathway has been under increased pressure in recent years, with the number of Herd Owning Sharemilking (HOSM) positions steadily declining, due to a variety of factors. In the past five years’ there has been significant fluctuation in the milk price paid to New Zealand dairy farmers, and this volatility has created additional problems for farm owners and sharemilkers alike. This report explores the latest trends and statistics relating to sharemilking, and then examines the issues that the milk price volatility is creating, and finally providing some thoughts on how the industry may need to react to ensure viable progression pathways continue.
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